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Guide to authorization, permits, licences, certificates and regulations

Are you involved with manufacturing, buying, selling, importing, exporting or transporting explosives? Explosives include not only blasting explosives but also a wide variety of products, for example, model rocket motors and special purpose explosives, such as flares and reactive targets.

For these activities and explosives, you may need to meet certain requirements. You may also need get an authorization, permit, licence or certificate. Canada’s requirements for explosives ensure that they are made, handled, transported and stored safely.

The following guidance is for anyone involved with explosives. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.

For information on requirements for fireworks and pyrotechnics, consult Fireworks and pyrotechnics. For requirements for ammunition, consult Ammunition and propellant powders.

Authorization

Explosives manufactured, transported, bought, sold or used in Canada, or imported into Canada, must be authorized by Natural Resources Canada. Some explosives activities are exempt from the requirement for authorization, such as manufacturing small arms cartridges or black powder cartouches for personal use, transporting explosives in-transit, and importing ammunition, propellant powders and primers for personal use. For more information about exemptions, see the Explosives Regulations section 5 and section 25.

You can learn whether explosives have been authorized by checking the list of authorized explosives in Canada. The list does not include military or law enforcement explosives and explosives authorized for a specified period. If an explosive substance or item is not authorized in Canada, you can apply to have it authorized.

Manufacturing

To manufacture explosives in Canada, you must have a licence or certificate to manufacture explosives. There are some exemptions for specific activities.

For more information, consult Manufacturing and authorizing explosives.

Importing, exporting and transporting

To import explosives into Canada, or to export them from Canada to another country, you need an import or export permit. There are exemptions for small amounts of model rocket motors, small arms cartridges and components of small arms cartridges for personal use.

To transport explosives originating in another country through Canada and onward to another country (transporting in-transit), you need an in-transit permit. You do not need to ensure that explosives transported in-transit are authorized in Canada. This is an exception; all other explosives in Canada must be authorized.

Whenever you are transporting explosives within Canada, you need to meet safety and security requirements of Part 9 of the Regulations as well as requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. These requirements depend on the classification and amounts of the explosives you are transporting. Classification information is provided in the list of authorized explosives. For more information, consult Part 9 of the Explosives Regulations and Transport Canada’s Transportation of dangerous goods in Canada or the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations .

For additional information, consult Importing, exporting and transporting explosives

Buying, selling and storing

To buy, sell or store  explosives, you must meet safety and security requirements. The requirements depend on the type of explosives you are buying, selling or storing, as follows.

For industrial explosives, you need an explosives licence or manufacturing certificate. There is an exception if you have a provincial or territorial authorization to store explosives at a mine site or quarry. For more information, see Buying, selling and storing industrial explosives.

For rocket motors, you may be permitted to store them in a dwelling (such as a house or apartment), or you may need to store them in a storage unit, or you may need an explosives licence. The requirements depend on the type of rocket motors, the amount and whether you are using or selling them. For more information, see Buying, selling and storing model rocket motors or Buying, selling and storing high-power rocket motors.

For special purpose explosives, you may be permitted to store them in a dwelling (such as a house or apartment), or you may need to store them in a storage unit, or you may need an explosives licence. The requirements depend on whether the explosives are low- or high-hazard, the amount and whether you are using or selling them. For more information, see Buying, selling and storing low-hazard special purpose   or Buying, selling and storing high-hazard special purpose explosives .

Contact us

Explosives Regulatory Division
National Headquarters
588 Booth Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa ON  K1A 0Y7
Tel.: 1-855-912-0012
Email: ERDmms@nrcan.gc.ca

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